The Oak-sponsored Round the Rock Ultramarathon - a Trail Monkey event - took place on Saturday 8 August for its 10th year running with more than 140 runners taking part in the 48 mile challenge on what was one of the hottest days of the month.
This was the first ultramarathon to take place after strict lockdown restrictions took effect in Jersey. Now, as the Island transitions to pre-pandemic levels of activity, it has been great to see events like this being able to be held, whilst the strict social distancing and COVID 19 measures are fully respected by runners, organisers and support crew alike. Due to the restrictions still in place on the size of public gatherings, this year’s ultramarathon took place in four waves of c.35 runners, each wave starting 30 minutes after the last.
Nicola Gott, managing director of Oak Jersey commented: “It’s been a challenging year for many events, particularly in the sporting arena. We’re particularly pleased that the Round the Rock Ultramarathon could still go ahead on what was its 10th anniversary despite the many hurdles encountered in getting the runners to the start line. We have fully supported the organisers to deliver an event that ensured everyone’s safety but allowed participants to compete in what is a truly landmark Jersey event.
Starting at the Steam Clock in St Helier, the course follows the coastal road past the first checkpoint at St Catherine’s Breakwater then switches to trail along the cliff paths at Rozel, going from the North coast granite cliffs into the St Ouen’s Bay. Next emerges the South Coast (St Brelades and St Aubins) and finally onwards to the finish line in St Helier.
The anti-clockwise direction route follows Jersey’s coastline and gives runners breath-taking views of the Island’s coastal scenery, countryside and wildlife. Despite the spectacular views and being voted the 7th most beautiful trail race in the world, runners must follow a challenging course and, at approximately 5,000ft of ascent, pass what is a true test of endurance.
Very well done to all who took part and our congratulations to those who made it to the finish. We hope to see you again in 2021!
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